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THOMAS PETTY 1675-1750
m. Catherine Garton

 John T. Petty group sheet

Thomas Petty IV group sheet

The following information was sent to me by Charlotte Petty and Sharon


WILL BOOK 2 1744-1788 PAGE 144

In the name of God Amen, Jan. 31 1748/49 I Thomas Petty of Orange Co. St. Thomas Parish being sick and weak of body but of sound and perfect mind and memory praise be to God for the same do make and ordain this my last will and testament in writing and hereby do also make void all former wills or testaments by me heretofore, made. Imprimis, I give and bequeth my soul to God that gave it in hopes of full assurance to receive the same again at the Resurrection at the last day by the merit of my Lord Saviour Jesus Christ and my body I bequeath to the Earth from Whence it came to be buried in decent manner according to the discretion of my executors and executrix hereafter mentioned.

Item. I give and bequeath to my son John Petty one Shilling
Item. I give and bequeath to my son William one Shilling
Item. I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Petty one Shilling
Item. I give and bequeath to my son James Petty one Shilling
Item. I give and bequeath to my daugher Rebecca Sims one Shilling
Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Wright one Shilling
Item. I give and bequeath to my son George Petty and my daughter Martha Petty all my estate both real and personal after my debts being paid and the legacies aforesaid to be equally divided between my well beloved children George Petty and Martha Petty to them and their heirs forever. Lastly, I nominate my son George Petty executor and my daughter Martha Petty executrix of this my last will and testament as witness my hand and seal this day and year above mentioned. his
Thomas X Petty

Signed, sealed and delivered
in the presence of us
Solo ryan, Wm. Sims
Thomas Petty younger

May 24, 1750 at a court held for Orange Co. Thursday 24 May 1750 will was presented by Geo. and Martha Petty exrs. and ordered recorded.


 Several manuscripts and books have appeared relating to the history of Thomas Petty and his family. But in each case, several major errors have been adapted and passed on pertaining to the parentage and children of Thomas. There is an axiom among genealogists concerning untrained researchers that states: "A statement said once must be proven, but a statement (even a false one) said many times by many people can be accepted as fact." Such a situation exists with the ancestry of Thomas Petty.

The tradition has developed among researchers of the Petty family over the years that Thomas Petty was the son of Thomas Pettit/Petty and Rachel Wilson of Essex County, Virginia, and the grandson of Col. Thomas Petty and Catherine Morris of Rappahannock Co., Virginia. This line is further traced back to Thomas Pettus, who resided in Norwich, England in 1492. Thomas Pettit, the supposed father of the subject of this article, died in 1720, and named a son Thomas in his will. This has been the sole source of proof tying the lines together. Unfortunately, this pedigree is false and has led many researchers astray.

Thomas Petty was the son of Hubert Patey/Petty and probably his wife Rebecca. Hubert Patey first appeared in the deed of Lancaster Co., Virginia, in 1665, when he purchased 150 acres of land on Marraticoe Creek from Abraham Bush. His wife Rebecca first appears when she co-signed a deed with Hubert selling one half of their property in 1667. The only time Hubert appears with the name Petty is in an application for a colonial land grant in 1672.

In the spring of 1687, Hubert Patey prepared and signed his last will and testament, and chose his friend Walter Welch to be his executor of the estate. Hubert names his wife Faith Patey and gave their home and much of the personal estate to her. He also named his only child, Thomas Patey, and gave him all of the land, which he was to receive when he came of age. Hubert also assigned Walter Welch to be the guardian for Thomas until he was of legal age. (Lancaster Co., WB Vol. 5, p. 113)

Thomas had probably been of legal age for several years by the time he first appeared in the records of Tidewater, VA. On November 2, 1699, in the common pleas court of Richmond Co., Thomas Patty sued Dennis and Jane Cameron, "the executors of Walter Welch, the executor of Hubert Patty", for the portion of his inheritance which he had not received. On April 3, 1700, Thomas and "Kat" Patty appeared in court and won the case against Dennis and Jane Cameron. He received "four cowes and their increase since he became of age." (Richmond Co., OB 3, p. 24)

Thomas married Katherine Garton, daughter of John and Martha Garton of Richmond Co. They were probably married in 1699 or in the first part of 1700. Katherine was the only one of four living Garton children that was of legal age at that time, so she could not have married earlier than that.

On March 6, 1700/01, Thomas and Katherine Petty appeared in court with her mother, Martha Garton, as plaintiffs in a suit against Robert and Anna Post, concerning the estate of John Garton. On May 7, 1702, the records for Richmond Co. show that Thomas and Katherine Patty, and Martha Garton, won their suit. Robert Post was ordered to pay 3000 lbs. in tobacco.
(Richmond Co., OB 3. pp. 85, 168)

Later that year, on October 13, Thomas Petty and his wife Katherine sold the land in Lancaster Co. which Thomas had received from the will of his father Hubert Patey, being 65 acres on Morraticoe Creek, bordering the property of Abraham Bush.
(Lancaster Co., DB 7, P. 36)

On October 6, 1703, Thomas Patty bought 150 acres of land from Thomas Barker, on Bare Branch of Rappahanock Creek in Richmond Co., VA. Here Thomas and his family remained for the next 31 years. (Richmond Co., DB 3, p. 118)

Except for an appearance in court as a witness for Richard Washburn in 1704, Thomas does not appear on the records of Richmond Co. for the next 12 years. On Feb. 1, 1715/16, he leased 30 acres bordering his land from Henry Hewes.

On April 6, 1721, Thomas and Katherine Patty and Ruth Garton Boyd applied for letters of administration on the estate of their brother John Garton. Three months later, David Boyd issued a legal complaint against his brother-in-law, Thomas Patty. The complaint was dropped on August 2, 1721.
(Richmond Co., OB 9, p. 14)

On April 5, 1722, Thomas and Katherine Patty and Ruth Boyd sued Hannah Port for the portion of the estate of John Garton Sr., which they did not receive 20 years earlier. (Richmond Co., OB 9, p. 48)

On January 2, 1727/28, Thomas Patty sold 50 acres of his property on Bare Branch of Rappahannock Creek to his son John Patty.
(Richmond Co., DB 8, p. 429)

On October 2, 1728, Ruth Boyd and Thomas Patty gave bond for the administration of the estate of David Boyd, dec'd. Two and a half years later, on March 2, 1731/32, Thomas asked to be released from his role as administrator of David Boyd's estate. He was replaced by his son-in-law Thomas Sims.

Six months later, on November 4, 1732, Thomas and Katherine Patty and John and Rebecca Patty sold all of their properties on Bare Branch of Rappahannock Creek to William Jordan. (Richmond Co., DB 8, pp. 622-624)

The last record of Thomas Patty in Richmond Co. occurs on Aug 5, 1734 when Thomas (stating that he was a resident of Richmond Co.) appeared in court to make a claim for taking up a runaway slave named William Waller. The servant left the home of George Henage in Stafford Co., VA. (Richmond Co., OB 10 p. 198)

Two months later, on October 23, 1734, Thomas and Katherine Patty, John and Rebecca Patty, and Thomas and Rebecca Sims all leased property in the western portion of Spotsylvania Co., VA, from Alexander Spotswood. The property of Thomas Patty and Thomas Sims was in St. Mark's parish on the south side of the Rapidan River, and the property of John Patty was on the north side of the river. The terms of the agreements were for the lifetime of the spouse or the eldest child in the home, whichever lived the longest. The eldest child living in Thomas Patty's family was his son Christopher.

On Jan. 1, 1734/35, the western part of the Sportsylvania Co. was divided off and became Orange Co., VA. On March 4, 1734/35, Thomas Patty's daughter, Mary, was called to court in Sporsylvania Co. to be charged with having a "Bastart" child. The subpoena was not answered by Thomas Patty because he was no longer a resident of that coati. (OB 2, p. 372)

On June 2, 1735, Thomas Patty, Jr., leased 150 acres of land from Alexander Spotswood, on the south side of Rapidan River, in Orange Co. (Orange Co., DB 1, p. 118)

On March 17, 1735/36, Thomas Patty was taken to court in Orange Co., and sued for debt by William Jordan in the sum of 570 lbs of tobacco. Jordan won the case and the court ordered Thomas to pay the sum and work on the road. One week later, Thomas petitioned the court to be released from working on the road for reasons of old age. He claimed to be 75 years old. The court accepted his petition and released him from his responsibility. Thomas apparently lied to the court to get out of work. If he was 75 years old in 1736, he would have been born in 1660 or 1661, That would have made him 27 when his father died and assigned a guardian to care for him in 1687. (Orange Co., OB 1, p. 146)

On April 27, 1738, Thomas Patty brought suit against the estate of Alvin Mothershead of Richmond Co., for payment of a debt. Thomas was awarded 195 lbs. of tobacco and 1 hog. (Orange Co., OB 1, p. 295)

Thomas and his daughter, Martha Patty, and Thomas Sims, appeared in court on July 28, 1741, as witnesses for John Hunny. Hunny sued Patrick Leonard for trying to renege on an agreement to release Hunny from his indentured servitude. (Orange Co., OB 2, p. 346)

On Jan 26, 1744/45, Thomas Patty petitioned the court to be released from paying levies on account of his being infirm and aged. The petition was granted. (Orange Co., OB 4, p. 267)

On Sept 27, 1746, Thomas's daughter, Mary, and her husband, Thomas Knight, "left the county secretly" to avoid paying a debt. (Orange Co., OB4a, p. 88)

On July 25, 1747, a suit was brought against Thomas Patty by George Buchannon and William Hamilton, executors of the estate of Neil Buchannon. On that same day, the court reported that William Patty, the son of Thomas Petty, and his family had also "left the county secretly" to avoid payment of debt. (Orange Co., OB 5, p. 131)

On Jan. 31, 1748/49, Thomas Patty drafted and signed his last will and testament. His wife Katherine was already dead, and most of his children had already received their shares in the estate. Thomas gave each of his married children, namely, John, Thomas, Christopher, William, James, Rebecca Sims, and Mary Knight, one shilling. To his other 2 children, George Patty and Martha Patty, he gave the remainder of his estate to be divided between them. He also chose them to be executors of his last will and testament. (Orange Co., WB 2, pp. 144-145)

Thomas Patty died in Orange Co., VA, in the spring of 1750. His will was probated on May 24, 1750.

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